America’s War on Terror: On Security and Liberty
If one hearkens back to last Christmas Day, the Obama administration‘s gift to the nation was a number of terrorism scares that raised red flags regarding the ability of this government to seriously and adequately protect Americans from terrorists. These provided warning signs that jihadists finally figured out that President Obama is the “weakest horse” yet, and is steadily retreating in the “war on terror.” What are we to make of the inability and unwillingness of the president to take on America’s enemies?
The Obama administration lacked the political will to fight terrorism from the very beginning. The president’s lack of military and intelligence experience, and his background as a community organizer (the politically correct term for a social agitator), suggest that the current leadership vacuum in our commander-in-chief should not be all that surprising. But what is surprising, and what has caused the young grasshopper to surpass the ways of the old pacifist master Jimmy Carter, is his outright hostility to anyone who would suggest that a war with terrorists actually exists. Well, a war with Islam-inspired terrorists, that is.
One of the first acts of the Obama administration was to authorize the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to declare open season on “right-wingers.” In the wake of the DHS’ wildly inaccurate report on “right-wing extremists,” which paints the reactionary rise of racist groups and armed militias by conflating Cro-Magnon conservatives with American freedom-lovers, there has not been a single newsworthy act of violence by a “right-winger.”
Despite massive outpourings of American patriots to oppose the government takeover of the healthcare system (as well as the grotesque bank and auto bailouts), of the hundreds of thousands who participated in the “tea parties,” not one elicited as much as a fine for littering.
False alarms of right-wing extremism included rampaging veterans returning from “overseas contingency operations,” the possibility of reprisals for terrorism carried out on innocent Muslims, and the supposed “murder” of a census worker by backwater Kentucky rednecks (still waiting for the retraction for that one).
But under the Obama administration, the most blatant acts of political violence have been the assault of conservative tea party goers (here, here, and here), and anthrax mailings to Republican representatives.
Meanwhile, on the “manmade disasters” front (we wouldn’t want to use the language of the “politics of fear,” would we?), there were some major terrorist attacks carried out by jihadists, and by the looks of things, there are more in store.
The worst of the lot was the Fort Hood shooting, which was carried about by an Army Major known to have tried contacting Al Qaeda. More recently, there was the near mid-flight murder of airline passengers courtesy of a crotch-bomb wielding jihadist with links to Al Qaeda and who was on the TSA’s no-fly list. OK, one of the no-fly lists. Apparently, the alleged “attempted attacker” was outed by his own father earlier; which really wouldn’t have mattered if he was assisted onto the plane without a passport.
Significantly, the attempted bombing was not thwarted by the Orwellian Department of Homeland Security, despite assurances by “Big Sis” Janet Napolitano that “the system worked” (until Obama clarified that the system “didn’t work”); but rather it was stopped in progress by a vigilant passenger and a heads-up steward. The Christmas Day attack was followed by a spate of security breaches, including a (used) rocket launcher belonging to a Muslim man found at a Houston, Texas airport, and a security checkpoint failure at the Newark airport in New Jersey.
Predictably, these security lapses have not been a call for a renewed resurgence in the war on Islamic terrorists, perhaps even taking the radical step of fighting for victory in Afghanistan, but instead has been used as a pretense to further infringe on American civil liberties.
With leftists in office, it is hard to decide if their responses to security failures better illustrate their disdain for individual rights; their willful blindness, which results from a politically correct worldview that equivocates the Koran with the Bill of Rights; or their active or subconscious sympathy to the “freedom fighters'” cause.
Certainly, there is some merit to question the Democrats’ commitment to civil liberties. The track record of the staunchly progressive American Civil Liberties Union is more anti-American than pro-freedom. Defending the non-existent “rights” of non-citizen enemy combatants not to face military justice served up in tribunals, which are designed to handle detainees while the country is in a state of war, is but one glaring example. The support for the civilian court trial of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, which would logically extend citizen rights to a sworn enemy of the American people, is a case in point. We also have the pro bono work of Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of detainees at Guantanamo Bay (and it should be noted that 19 Republican Senators voted to confirm him).
Unrelated to the war on terror, we have the Holder-led DOJ dropping the case of two New Black Panther members in Philadelphia, who intimidated voters. The cherry on the top is the infamous FLAG website, which proposed to Americans to snitch on anyone spreading “disinformation” on healthcare. The term “disinformation” is an intelligence term that reeks of a KGB-modeled campaign to turn Americans against one another.
The next possible answer to why the progressive Democrats’ prosecution of the war on Islamic jihadists is so lackadaisical is simply that they are ideologically confused. In the progressive’s world, being “compassionate” is equivocating all groups of humans as equal, as well as their cultures and ideologies. Does a particular ideology promote death? That’s irrelevant. Does an ideology inspire a culture that leads to a diminution of respect for freedom? So what if it does?
In the perfect world of progressives, no one fights over ideologies; therefore, the best thing to do about Islamic radicalism is to ignore it and cease our ideological “hegemony” over other nations. Even better, redistribute the wealth from those spoiled middle class Americans to the underprivileged jihadists (who are not typically underprivileged, but often upper class). That will address the socio-economic problem of “class envy,” the explanans universalis for all the world’s problems, at its root source.
Then we have the theory that Democrats often side with jihadists because they are both fundamentally anti-American at their core. By using the term “anti-American,” I am not identifying America as a socialist utopia, which is the presumed defense of radicals who argue that “they love America too.” Well, if you love America so much, why are you trying to “radically transform” it?
To back up this seemingly unlikely thesis, Dr. Jamie Glazov painstakingly details the left’s penchant for siding with America’s enemies in his book “United in Hate“; from Columbia hosting a speech by the holocaust-denying, Jew-hating President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadenijad, to the despicable support for the North Vietnamese shown by the likes of Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine. The pattern on the left seems to be that they are attracted to whomever happens to be America’s worst enemy at the time, including fascists (see Goldberg’s “Liberal Fascism“), communists, and, as suggested by their defense of Palestinian “freedom fighters,” Hamas, CAIR, and detainees at Gitmo, radical jihadists.
Does this “United in Hate” theory sound crazy? That is, is it so far-fetched that radical Democrats and radical Jihadists are essentially playing on the same anti-American team, for one reason or another, according to the international relations logic of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”? Well, let us look at the recent and the not-so-recent past and examine the track record of so-called “liberal” Democrats.
Following 9/11 there has been an inability for progressives to recognize that the terrorists we face are indeed Muslim. Even if we blotted out the 9/11 attacks from history, we would still have the matter of the numerous Muslim attacks on the U.S. to deal with. There was the U.S.S. Cole attack, off the coast of Yemen; the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; and the first WTC attack, just to name a few. All of these attacks were carried out by Islamic jihadists.
Then there was the 3/11 Madrid bombings, which possibly influenced Spain’s elections, as well as the London bombings. We can even go back before the fall of the USSR, to the Lockerbie bombing and the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. All of these terrorist acts were carried about by Islamic jihadists. Still, the progressives refuse to face the fact that in our ongoing war with terrorists who are out to kill Americans, we face a predominately Muslim enemy.
A highly disturbing news item that goes virtually unreported in the American press that provides some evidence of Democrats siding with the enemy, is that several members of Congress, all Democrats, are receiving money from and/or actively collaborating with the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR is a well-documented unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, which led to 108 guilty verdicts, including the funneling of nearly $12 million to the officially classified terrorist organization Hamas. These members of Congress include: Rep. Andre Carson (D – IN), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D – OH), Rep. Shirley Jackson-Lee (D – TX), Rep. Al Green (D – TX), Rep. Nick Lampson (D – TX), Rep. Bill Pascrell (D – NJ). And it is not like these Democrats don’t know any better. Several Republicans, including, Rep. Sue Myryck (R – NC), Rep. Trent Franks (R – AZ), Rep. John Shadegg (R – AZ), and Paul Broun (R – Ga), have gone on the record warning of how dangerous and deceptive an organization CAIR is.
But direct evidence of any Democrats’ intent to compromise U.S. security is, and would be, hard to come by. All we have to go on is a track record.
If we go back further back in time, modern liberals and progressives refused to acknowledge the danger coming from Russia, the chief state of the “former” Soviet Union. The U.S. therefore partially left itself open to subversion and espionage in the Cold War because its culture of freedom, including freedom of dissent, provided the perfect petrie dish for openly undermining America’s traditions, values, and institutions.
The left, without a hint of reflection apparently, embarked on a decades-long campaign from the 1930s onward to savage the cultural foundations that led to America’s rise in prosperity and power. The left did this while believing that they were redressing America’s supposed sins of capitalism, imperialism, neo-colonialism, and slavery (which officially ended 150 years ago), without even pausing to think if they were doing exactly what America’s enemies wanted them to.
This made the left so ideologically blind to such blatant cases of communist infiltration as those of Alger Hiss and the Rosenbergs, key spies who directly impacted the formation of the United Nations and the Soviets’ nuclear weapons program, respectively. Rather than examining the evidence of espionage with all the seriousness demanded of the cases, they not only dismissed the accusations out of hand, but shot any messenger who dared “red bait” the fellow-travelers.
More immediately, we have the matter of Democrats (and Republicans) refusing to acknowledge that Russia is our adversary today. America is still referred to in Russia’s revamped intelligence services as the “main target. ” There are good reasons to believe that for today’s Russian Kremlin, undermining the security goals of the United States is “business as usual.”
We can thus easily see that the perfect strategy for those who hate America, including the Russian government, would be to “cross-pollinate” ideological subversion (see KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov), espionage, and radical Islamism. The KGB and its progeny have been working for decades to fuel anti-Americanism in the Middle East, a campaign led most notably by former Prime Minister Yevgenii Primakov. Primakov recently blamed the U.S. for the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran (despite the fact that the Russians are helping to build Iran’s nuclear reactors). There are even suggestions that Primakov assisted Iraq in their military preparations before the second Iraq War.
Despite the poor track record of Russia following the fall of the Berlin wall, key leftists in the Clinton White House like Al Gore and suspected communist fellow-traveler Strobe Talbott caused us to lower our guards once again, assisting the building of a two-faced oligarchic kleptocracy with taxpayer money, and paying no mind as Russia became increasingly authoritarian and even belligerent.
In addition, there are reasons to suspect the purported causus bellum of Russia’s war on Chechnya. Supposedly fought due to the threat of Chechyan separatism, the war is widely seen to have been started by former President Boris Yeltsin for domestic political reasons. The war not only bootsed Yeltsin’s public approval, but it gave Russians the political smokescreen to be seen as collaborators with the U.S. in the ongoing fight with Muslim jihadists. The highest-ranking intelligence defector to the U.S., Sergei Tretyakov, suggests as much at the close of the intriguing work “Comrade J.”
More recently, the blast in Afghanistan that killed four members of CIA, including a high-ranking officer, is said to be carried out by a double agent, who had also contracted for Jordanian intelligence. The infiltration of our intelligence services by members of Al Qaeda, or recruited foreign agents posing as moles in terrorist groups, was only a matter of time. I’m not saying that Russia is behind this security disaster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. The opportunity for countries like Russia to fuel Islamic radicalism as a proxy means of carrying out war on the United States is just too ripe. This is why the Democrats’ “kumbaya” approach to international relations kicks open a hornet’s nest of security problems for the U.S.. The world is interconnected in ways that the modern liberals can’t grasp because of their cultural relativist viewpoint and their lack of realist sensibilities.
The point is that under Democrat administrations there is a tendency not to take our enemies seriously. The learning curve for radicals is not only inordinately high, but as we saw with the Carter administration, never-ending. It is no small hint at how America’s enemies see Democrats that the hostage-takers in Iran turned over the American hostages the day Ronald Reagan was sworn into office.
So what can we take away from this analysis? Did most progressives and liberal Democrats of yesteryear actively work to subvert the U.S.? No. It would be much too easy to find the literal smoking guns that would give away the game. Instead, America was ideologically subverted; through academia at the well-spring, and trickling into the schools, the media, and the legal system. This was not done with blatant pro-communist propaganda, but with the obliteration of reasoned self-interest, through subjectivism, solipsism, philosophical pragmatism, and a host of theories that erode the perception of objective reality, and are therefore conducive to ideological manipulation in the direction of collectivism.
The key ethic that primes modern liberals for self-destructive behavior is altruism, which makes it the highest act of virtue to sacrifice oneself for a higher cause. Altruism is the antithesis of rationality, which is the faculty that man needs for self-preservation and the preservation of a free country (see Rand).
It is really no surprise, therefore, that progressives are literally unable to see threats to America rising from outside its borders. Progressives, or more frankly, neo-marxists, only see threats to their civilizationally-suicidal cultural relativist agenda arising from within. Mexicans coming over the border and draining taxpayer dollars? Not a threat. Communists and socialists undermining the culture of freedom that has preserved the United States for over 200 years? Not a threat. Muslim jihadists infiltrating our universities, military and intelligence services? Not a threat. Those who would dare boldly argue that America, with all its history, traditions, and institutions, is the best, freest nation on earth? Dangerous right-wing extremists.
The best reason for why modern liberals and progressives have been ill-equipped to fight the War on Terror is the same reason that they were unable to confront the USSR during the cold war. Altruism dictates that serving one’s self-interest, whether when dealing with others economically, or when confronted by one’s fiercest enemies, is morally wrong. Altruism is not as much a moral principle for neo-marxists, who have been inoculated with the nihilistic value of moral relativism and post-modern subjectivist ideologies, but it is more of an ingrained, intuitive, and nearly irreversible feeling that overwhelms one’s ability to make right-and-wrong, black-and-white judgments. In the upside-down world of progressives, emotion trumps rationality.
Ayn Rand – The Virtue of Selfishness
Mark Steyn – America Alone
Melanie Phillips – Londonistan
Steve Emerson – American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us
Jamie Glazov – United in Hate
Bill Gertz – The Failure Factory
Pete Earley – Comrade J
Christopher Andrew – The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB
Herbert Romerstein and Eric Breindel – The Venona Secrets, Exposing Soviet Espionage and America’s Traitors
John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr – In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage
John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr – Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America
Whittaker Chambers – Witness
M. Stanton Evans – Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America’s Enemies
Robert Jervis – Perception and Misperception in International Politics